So I was in this donut shop today — it’s at Santa Monica and Western, a neighborhood of Central Americans and Oaxacans.
I often go to donut shops to write, as it puts me in neighborhoods that don’t often see a Times reporter.
As I sat there writing, facing the door, who should pull up but teen pop heartthrob Justin Bieber, with his girlfriend, whose name escapes me for the moment.I didn’t first recognize him as he was wearing a wool cap hiding all his hair, but his BMW didn’t really fit in the parking lot of older model Nissans and Toyotas and Fords.
Wikipedia, if I can believe it, informs me that he’s Canadian and just turned 18.
Anyway, they get out, walk in to the Subway shop next door — advertising 6″ sandwiches, buy one, get one free — and five minutes later walk out with the sandwiches and get in a drive off. I heard later that he’d just purchased property in Calabasas.
It was not a little surreal, like a movie or a river passing before my eyes — there went a pregnant mother, a couple of construction workers, a skateboard kid, Justin Bieber and his girlfriend, a woman pushing a stroller and leading a kid licking a lollipop …
A while after that, I got into a conversation in the shop with a Guatemalan guy named Eduardo. Eduardo is a metal recycler. He buys junk metal and recycles it. Most of his clients are auto shops and he travels all over Southern California to get their discarded metal, from Riverside in the Inland Empire out to Thousand Oaks in Ventura County.
Seemed like a couple of strange encounters, but just like Los Angeles.